Tuesday, October 5, 2010
In an interview in Wired, Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson were together discussing this book and Kelly's upcoming book What Technology Wants. We have discussed this book in an earlier article.
Here is a short, but interestingly done video on the book.
For a more extended lecture like explanation you can see it here where he speaks at TED.com
Johnson in the Wired interview mentioned earlier, speaks about "myths" on how great ideas were conceived. Some have thought that innovation comes from the profit motive. This he disagrees with. IT is not just about giving people incentives he says but about being in an environment where "their ideas can connect."
Johnson considers ideas as connections in our brains and thus views them as "ecologies and networks."
Another myth he speaks about is the "lone inventor." According to both Johnson and Kelly "simultaneous inventions" have been the norm in history not the exception. They cite the simultaneous inventions of Calculus, the electrical battery, the telephone, the steam engine, the radio, etc.
The last point made in this interview is a fascinating one. Ideas that are too far ahead of their day are almost never implemented. Society can absorb only one small hop at a time. They cite Gregor Mendel's ideas about genetics which were ignored for 35 years because they were too advanced.
This books sounds like a GREAT read along with Kelly's new book, What Technology Wants. We strongly recommend reading them. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog you will see a carousel from Amazon listing this and other great visionary books.